Canadians blame Trump for events of January 6, 2021, poll finds

James McCarten, The Canadian Press

WASHINGTON — A new poll reveals that one in three Canadians is closely following the hearings of the commission of inquiry charged with shedding light on the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, in the United States, and that nearly three-quarters of Canadians blame President Donald Trump for what happened.

This new Léger poll, conducted online in August on behalf of the Association for Canadian Studies, indicates that 37% of Canadian respondents and 44% of American participants follow the commission’s hearings closely.

Just over half of US respondents, 54%, said the former president was responsible for the assault, while the rate rose to 72% among Canadian participants.

The special committee looking into the events that took place on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021 will hold its next hearing on Wednesday, the last before the US midterm elections, scheduled for November.

The Léger survey was conducted with 1,509 respondents in Canada and 1,002 in the United States shortly after the July hearing. No margin of error is attributed to it, since the online samples are not random.

The final report on the commission’s findings is expected before the end of the year, but it may not be released until midterm election day on November 8.

According to the President and CEO of the Association for Canadian Studies, Jack Jedwab, Canadians’ level of interest in the hearings is likely linked to a fascination with President Trump and his legacy that continues to be talked about, even after his leaving the White House.

The former president left « a bad memory with most Canadians », who, on the whole, were not in favor of his presidency or his impact on Canada-US relations, Jedwab said.

« Mr. Trump is seen as someone who soured relations between the two countries and is still the subject of considerable mistrust.”

The poll, which was conducted before Pierre Poilievre became leader of the Conservative Party, also presented the responses of Canadian participants according to their allegiance in federal politics.

Only supporters of the People’s Party of Canada, a right-wing party led by Maxime Bernier, said the majority – 57% – wanted Mr. Trump to run for president again in 2024.

Among conservatives, 28% said they would support a return of Mr. Trump. However, opposition to a candidacy by Mr. Trump is close to 90% among supporters of the Liberals, New Democrats and Greens, and reaches 95% among supporters of the Bloc Québécois.

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